Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hard to Hold on To (Hard Ink #2.5) by Laura Kaye: Blog Tour Review, Guest Post & Giveaway



Edward "Easy" Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves--which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight. He may have just met her, but Jenna's the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago.

Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can't describe how he makes her feel--and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to.

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Review by Yvette:

Action; romance; mystery; suspense – Laura Kaye's Hard Ink series is an intriguing amalgamation of genres, giving an added edge to the sensual romance stories typical of this author. What sets Hard to Hold on To apart from its predecessors is that it takes a break from the fast-paced narrative introduced in Hard As It Gets and continued in Hard As You Can, creating a standstill that allows for the story to focus more on character buildup. Going in to this book, I could not have predicted the immense effect protagonists Edward "Easy" and Jenna Dean would have on me. Like many novellas I’ve read before, I expected to dive into Hard to Hold on To and find a sexy and sensual romance that would keep me entertained for an hour or two, but what I encountered was so much more profound.

If there is one word that would accurately summarize Hard to Hold on To, it would be intense. Previous books in the series have shown that the surviving members of Easy's Special Forces unit have dealt with the grief of their friends' deaths and commander's betrayal in their own way, but Easy's path up to that point has been unimaginably dark and despairing. The only relief from his inner turmoil is his connection with Jenna, whose recent traumatic experience allows them to form a strong bond despite knowing each other for only a short time. Despite their outward differences, Easy and Jenna are so similar in the way they internalize their feelings. They both carry around guilt from past experiences on such a deep level that it fairly consumes them.

Upon finishing Hard to Hold on To, I was left reeling from the roller coaster of emotions that Easy and Jenna led me through. I expected this novella to be a quick, steamy read (which it was), but what I didn’t expect was how much Easy and Jenna’s story would make me feel and how deeply I would connect to their characters. The bond Laura Kaye establishes between the reader and these two individuals is so tangible that you can't help but feel as though your emotions are tied to theirs. Hard to Hold on To is a devastatingly beautiful story that encourages hope when there is none and helps to shed light on issues that are prevalent in today’s world. Laura Kaye doesn’t shy away from confronting these issues and because of this, the narrative is all the more significant.

Rating: 5 Stars

About the Author:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in paranormal and contemporary romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Guest Post:

Hanky-Alert Books by Laura Kaye

I’m so excited to be celebrating the release of Hard to Hold On To, my 16th published book and the third one in my super sexy and suspenseful Hard Ink series. This book is sexy and sensual and emotional—and it’s also heart-wrenching in a few places. It might even make you cry! LOL And that got me thinking about tear-jerkers—those I’ve written and those I’ve read myself.

Top Tear-Jerking Scenes I’ve Written:

Easy’s Admission to Shane, from Hard to Hold On To. Yup. That’s right. This new book is the one that made me cry the hardest while writing. And that’s saying something, because there was a scene from another book (next on the list) that I thought would never be surpassed in this! LOL We’ve all been there. Something is hurting us horribly inside and we’ve been trying to deal with it on our own and trying to keep it all buttoned up inside. And then we make the mistake—or perhaps take that incredibly important step for help—and say just the littlest thing about it. And it all comes pouring out. All the pain and sadness and worry and exhaustion and fear. Uncontrollably and inconsolably. That’s what this particular scene was like. And I was full-on ugly crying while I wrote it, heaving and shaking and sweating. I’m giving this one a 5 HANKY ALERT!

Secondary Character Death Scene, from South of Surrender. This is the scene that held my number-one tear-jerking position for a long, long time. Saying good-bye to characters is always hard. But watching this character die through another character’s eyes made me feel everything he was feeling, and I cried so hard that the sleeves to the top I was wearing were soaked from mopping up tears! But it was something I always knew would happen and something I’d been dreading having to write for several books. I’m giving this one a 4 ½ HANKY ALERT!

Childbirth Scene, from East of Ecstasy. When I realized this scene was going to happen the way that it did, I was all like OMG! I was going to put the characters from the much-beloved first book in the series through all kinds of hell in book four. And I was going to give the hero from that first book a point of view again in the fourth just so you could get nice and comfy back in his head again. Before I destroyed his world. Mwuhaha! Evil author! But I cried, too, so I think it’s all fair! I’m giving this scene a 4 HANKY ALERT!

Funeral Scene, from One Night with a Hero. So, it seems there’s a theme of me enjoying torturing heroes, isn’t there??? LOL In this one, hero Brady Scott, who’d been hoping to resolve some things with his abusive father, doesn’t get to, and it sorta pulls the rug out from under his feet and all his plans. At first it numbs him out, but as the funeral comes to an end, all the pain and anger and hurt come slamming back into his body—and he loses it. And it’s heart-wrenching. I totally bawled writing that one, so I have to give it another 4 HANKY ALERT!

Top Tear-Jerking Scenes I’ve Read:

When I read books, I really love to be made to feel. I love to laugh. I love to breathe hard. I love to gasp. I love to cry! LOL Here are a few scenes that come immediately to mind that have made me cry:

Dumbledore’s death in Harry Potter and the Half-Blooded Prince. DUDE. That one was bad. Like I didn’t expect it coming and had to re-read it because I didn’t believe it had just happened!

The scene where Wrath and the Brothers tell Tohr that Wellsie has died in Lover Awakened. Just another reason it’s my favorite book. But OMG that is a sob-worthy scene!! Same book, where Zsadist drinks from the human instead of Bella despite Bella’s pleas – that got me, too.

Fred Weasley’s death in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Secondary character death is never easy, especially a character who was as fun, daring, and good as Fred. Not to mention he was a twin. Poor George!

Edward breaking up with Bella in the woods in New Moon. Admit it. You cried too! LOL But, yeah, this totally got to me, because I could imagine how much it would hurt to not only lose the boy you loved but also to lose the ability to interact with a magical world that only you know exists.

These aren’t the only ones, to be sure! But now I want to know – what are some books that made YOU cry?

Thanks for reading!


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